Trombone Shorty Mixes Jazz Sounds, Old And New

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has been playing music since age 4. i i

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has been playing music since age 4. Kirk Edwards hide caption

itoggle caption Kirk Edwards
Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has been playing music since age 4.

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has been playing music since age 4.

Kirk Edwards

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has been hailed as one of New Orleans' brightest young stars. From the age of 4, he honed his jazz skills at funerals and played for change in the city's Jackson Square. By the time he turned 6, Andrews had started touring with his brother's band.

Today, the trombonist is hailed for bridging old and new styles of jazz into a unique sound he calls "Supafunkrock." And, while his style is celebrated by many fans, he admits that some jazz traditionalists are less enthusiastic.

"I didn't grow up during the time that Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis and all those people were playing," Andrews tells NPR's Neal Conan. "So it's not really my responsibility to keep it up, what they were doing.

"There's a lot of music at my fingertips that I can be influenced by," he says. "And just because I play a horn, I don't need to sound, or try to capture, what was happening before me. I can just respect it and learn from it."

Creating new forms of established traditions is nothing new, Andrews says.

"Music is changing," he says. "I'm just doing what I'm doing, and hopefully in the next 20, 30 years, some kids can take what I'm doing and change it again. If the music doesn't move, then it's dead."

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